1) I, as a veteran take this opportunity to address an issue for your consideration. I do trust, you will view it in the right spirit and not take it otherwise. Do analyze the intent and content of this communication.
2) I was reading your statement in today’s news paper on Major NL Gogoi. Good, a Court Of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the truth and I do hope the facts will come out . You have rightly stated; Major Gogoi, if found guilty will be dealt with severe punitive action. My humble question to you is what was the need for COAS to make a statement on this matter? Was it, because issue was very prominently covered in the media whose credentials are at sake? I think, it was perhaps the prerogative of the CO (who has been posted out overnight) or the Brigade Commander to make a statement. Well, try to analyse the status of COAS from all angles and not only from what is perceived in the power corridors of North and South Blocks.
3) By sheer confidence an other incident took place in NCR, very close to Raisena hill and this also involved an Army Officer who had gone with his family for dinner to a mall in Dwarka where couple of civilian boys misbehaved with his family and officer was beaten up, the officer despite bleeding head, chased these hooligans for two kilometers and caught one of them. Will COAS give his statement similar to that of Major Gogoi and ask Civil Administration to take punitive action against culprits with the same speed as that of Court of Inquiry on Major Gogoi? Think over it Sir, the whole country is watching you and the Ministry of Defence through hawk’s eyes.
4) I am enclosing the pictures of news paper cuttings on both the incidents under discussion for your ready reference.
5) The People in general and Defence Forces in particular were expecting to hear your voice firstly, on OROP rally in Delhi a few days back and secondly, opening of 62 cantonment roads all over the country to general public on the request of some power-centric cheap and selfish politicians in the election years of 2018 and 2019. Was this issue considered-cum-discussed with Army Commanders; I don’t think so as the Southern Army Commander’s views were very clear on social media.
If some incident takes place and casualties to lives occur – I as a responsible citizen insist to know – who will be responsible? Defence Minister, COAS, Respective GOsC-in-C, Corps Commander, Divisional Commander, or Brigade Commander. Let there be accountability with transparency rather than making a Commanding Officer or a Company Commander as an escape goat in such an eventuality.
6) An unsolicited suggestion, let the Defence Forces be projected by their respective leaders of Army, Navy and Air Force. These leaders lead their men under command. Defence Services are not tools to help ruling political party. We are proud to be part of this elite organization which has never failed this country; at the same time we do not expect that our forces are ridiculed by “Netas and Babus” and the top Brasses of three services keep mum and be a silent spectator.
7) It may not be out of place to mention that as we keep growing in rank and service, we keep forgetting the motto of Chetwode Hall, IMA – quote “Country First Always and Every Time. Your Men Second Always and Every Time. Yourself Last Always and Every Time. Unquote.
Brigadier Pradeep Yadu (retired)
This article has been posted with the author’s permission. Views expressed are personal.